RAAF School Reunion News

4-5 May 2002

Saturday 4th May
This very successful reunion was organised by Dave Neilen with the assistance of his wife Anne. May I on behalf of everyone, once again extend our special thanks to Dave and Anne for organising the night, and for all the effort which obviously went into ensuring its success.

We met for dinner at Cafe Cosmo at the Canberra Southern Cross Club, Woden, at 7.30 pm on Saturday. It was to be a very special night, memories of which we take with us and will keep always in our hearts. It was wonderful to see our dear old classmates once again, to swap notes and to remark upon how each other had or hadn't changed. We enjoyed a delicious three course dinner, which in all honesty was probably eaten rather too quickly because, well let's face it - who had time to eat! After several hours, we moved on to the downstairs bar for a little (ahem...) more reminiscing.

Some spouses came to share in the fun too! Among these were Barbara Affleck (wife of Ian Affleck), Lyndon Johnson (husband of Joanne Drummond), Sharon Lowe (wife of Greg Lowe), Veronica Drummond (wife of Michael Drummond) and Dennis Morgan (husband of Kaye Stevens).

It was all over too quickly of course, even though the hour had stretched to near 3.00 am by the time most us left. A few hours sleep had to be captured before our coffee meeting the next morning! Many photographs were taken, and I for one had 3 cameras in my bag - two of Milton's and one of my own.

Sunday 5th May
After a few hours of scanty sleep, we surfaced to follow up from the night before over coffee at Parliament House. Our togetherness and the perfect Canberra weather that morning somehow managed to capture the essence of the past as we laughed and talked, posed for more "school photographs" and recounted memories and experiences. The clock marched on relentlessly, yet time seemed to stand still as we were caught in the time-warp. No-one wanted to leave even after several cups of coffee, so it was agreed to extend the day by moving on to have lunch. Some of us were feeling a little teary throughout on this last day, and speaking for myself, when it was finally time for last hugs and goodbyes, I felt as I did when I left Penang in 1970. It was so final and just seemed wrong. The feeling that it was all over, once again, left me feeling rather melancholy.

And so it ended. Making promises to keep in touch, we parted to catch flights or find our cars, wondering if and when we'd ever see each other again. We each took with us our own impressions and thoughts of the last 24 hours. It could well be discovered in time that this first reunion will prove to be the very best of all.

Thanks to everyone who made this weekend a remarkably special time. Some of my photographs are shown below - your contributions are welcome.

List of those present:
Kerry Smith Kim Sullivan Ray Scovell David Neilen
Rhonda Neilen Margaret Nolan Kaye Stevens Ross White
Kathie Barnes Deborah Barnes Amanda Fisher Sally Fisher
Alana Murray Cynthia Matuschka Milton Matuschka *Ian Affleck
Joanne Drummond Michael Drummond Cathy Drummond Greg Lowe
John Ryan Gary White
*Cpl Ian C. Affleck was Education Assistant at the school in 1968.

We gathered for a group photograph after dinner and remained smiling happily whilst several photographs were taken. Everyone who brought a camera along on the night would have a copy of this particular photograph! Thanks to the kind photographers.

Back L to R: Kaye Stevens, Milton Matuschka, Sally Fisher, Kim Sullivan, Kerry Smith (in red), Greg Lowe (behind Kerry), Cathy Drummond, Dave Neilen, Kathie Barnes, Ian Affleck, Joanne Drummond, Margaret Nolan, Gary White
2nd Front Row
: Debbie Barnes, Cynthia, Amanda Fisher, Alana Murray, Rhonda Neilen
Front: Ross White, John Ryan, Michael Drummond, Ray Scovell

Reunion Organiser, Dave Neilen with Greg Lowe

Kim Sullivan, Kerry Smith, Kathie Barnes

Sally Fisher, Amanda Fisher

Back: Cynthia Matuschka, Rhonda Neilen, Amanda Fisher
Front: Sally Fisher, Alana Murray

Ross White

Standing: Milton Matuschka, Kerry Smith, Ray Scovell

Alana Murray, Cynthia Matuschka

Alana Murray and Rhonda Neilen

In the Downstairs Bar
Joanne Drummond, Gary White, Milton Matuschka, Alana Murray, Michael Drummond

At Parliament House Coffee Shop - the morning after.

Back: Ross White, John Ryan, Cynthia Matuschka, Kathie Barnes, Joanne Drummond
Front: Debbie Barnes, Dave Neilen, Michael Drummond, Rhonda Neilen, Kim Sullivan, Margaret Nolan

See more photographs!


Milton Matuschka
Dave Neilen

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Background image - Canberra in autumn